The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission certified the first small scale reactor design in the U.S. on January 20th. Created by NuScale, the design incorporates a module system that utilizes less water and is one-third the size of a traditional large-scale reactor. Each module is capable of producing 50 MW of electricity. The first module is expected to become operation in 2029 according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
The announcement comes as nuclear power generation declined, for a second year, in 2021. Wholesale power markets have contributed to significant financial pressure for nuclear plants. The result has been the early retirement of six nuclear units since 2017. An additional three nuclear units are expected to retire in next three years.